DMT: The Spirit Molecule
by Rick Strassman, MD
Park Street Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont 05767 USA; www.InnerTraditions.com Softbound, ISBN 0-89281-927-8, 2001, 358 pp, $16.95
Psychedelic plants and mushrooms have played a part in human history for thousands of years. Even now, indigenous people use mind-altering plants in ceremonies that foster community, creativity, and spiritual transformation and in healing rituals. Western researchers have focused on identifying and investigating the effects of the psychedelic compounds in these plants: mescaline in peyote (a cactus); LSD-25 in ergot (a rye fungus); psilocybin in another fungus (Psilocybe mexicana). Originally, researchers hoped that psychedelic compounds like LSD would provide insight into psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Altered perception and hallucinations are characteristic of both. Negative publicity about psychedelic research and uncontrolled recreational use of LSD during the 1960s, however, led to public pressure for a 1970 federal law that outlawed LSD and other psychedelics.
In 1990, after two years of preparation, Rick Strassman, MD, initiated the first new psychedelic research project on humans in the US since the 1960s. The focus of his research was N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic compound innate to humans and other animals, and some plants. DMT: The Spirit Molecule tells the story of DMT and the many questions that this naturally-occurring compound raises about consciousness and spiritually-potent experiences like birth, death, and near-death.
In DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Dr. Strassman recounts the many steps he took in order to begin his study. He had to gain...
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